Since 1975 Victor Chiarizia has explored many facets of glassmaking, including blown, flameworked, cast, etched and sandblasted. Chiarizia’s sculptural works express his thoughts about life, growth and renewal in art glass comprised of two distinctive techniques—hot glass and flameworked glass with vitreous fired-on enamels. Profound images from Chiarizia’s Italian-American background coupled with a boundless imagination give an earthy yet surreal style to much of his sculptural work.
Chiarizia’s glass is well-known for its technical innovations, organic forms and spirited colorations. His most acclaimed work includes The Botanicals, a series of sculptures with flameworked glass which is treated with multiple applications of enamels to give luster and luminosity to the vines, blossoms, fruit, human hands, and other elements that cling to amorphous hot glass vessels. The Legends and Icons Series also incorporates these techniques along with cast glass elements representing mythical, spiritual or cultural characters which are nestled into lush, clinging vines or stoic ancient tombs. Through their vivid imagery, this body of work illustrates the eternal cycle of life, death and rebirth.
Chiarizia also creates limited-edition vessels and sculptures which demonstrate an exceptional use of Incalmo, a 500 year-old Venetian technique that requires the artist to create cup-shape vessels which are then connected to one another on the blow pipe. Incalmo and reverse incalmo are complex and physically demanding processes for even the most experienced glassblowers. Chiarizia uses this unique technique to produce large vertical and diagonal bands of color within a vessel. Chiarizia also creates various blown glass series of vessels and sculptures; some revealing deeply organic textures and others in lively colorations.